Ask Hilary

How to keep your kitchen free from listeria

Following the listeriosis outbreak, Sunday Times food editor Hilary Biller has received many queries from readers wanting to know how they can keep their kitchens hygienically clean. She shares some tips

11 March 2018 - 00:00 By Hilary Biller
Disinfect your fridge using a mix of water and bleach.
Disinfect your fridge using a mix of water and bleach.
Image: 123RF/andreypopov

GET RID OF RISKY FOODS

Return any viennas, cold meats or polony to the store where purchased. Throw away items that are beyond their sell-by date and all those bits and pieces that have been hanging around.

DISINFECT YOUR FRIDGE

Bleach is the most affordable and effective disinfectant. Defrost your refrigerator and freezer and wash all removable shelves and other storage items in a mixture of hot soapy water and bleach (1 capful of bleach to 1 litre of water). If you can, leave them to soak for 15 minutes before rinsing and drying with a clean dishcloth or paper towel.

Wash the fridge out with a warm water and bleach solution (1 capful of bleach to 500ml of water). Combine the solution in a spray bottle and spray the interior of the fridge/freezer and leave for 15 minutes before rinsing with hot water and drying with a clean dishcloth or paper towel.

STORE FOODS SEPERATELY

Don’t mix fresh vegetables and fruit with meat, fish or chicken. Keep dairy and eggs separate. (Store eggs in the fridge and use before the date on the packaging.)

Pack leftovers into containers with different coloured lids — red for meat, green for veg and fruit and yellow for dairy. Do the same in the freezer. Different shelves or drawers for specific items.

Use different coloured chopping boards for different foods. Avoid wooden boards.

KEEP YOUR COUNTERTOPS CLEAN

Mop spills in the filling with paper towel, rather than a cloth, so you don’t crosscontaminate.

Spray kitchen surfaces with a water and bleach solution (1 capful of bleach to 500ml of water), leave for 5 minutes before wiping off with a paper towel. Make a new solution every day.


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